Penn State Brandywine Chancellor walks across Pennsylvania

May 09, 2012

Two weeks, nearly 300 miles, two women, and nothing but their own two feet. That’s right. Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska is celebrating her love of Pennsylvania and the importance of a healthy lifestyle by walking from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.

“This is a self improvement project,” Chancellor Wisniewska said of her 300-mile trek with her friend, Marie Thibault. “This is about our love of walking and our love of Pennsylvania. We are curious about the small towns and want to meet the people who live there.”

Their journey began at Seton Hill University in Pittsburgh on Sunday, May 6. It will continue through the rural areas along Route 30, and will end on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum on Monday, May 21. “We’re going to run up the steps like Rocky with the whole city of Philadelphia cheering us on!” Chancellor Wisniewska said, laughing. “And then we’ll find a restaurant and enjoy a nice meal.”

The most exciting part of the journey will be the people they meet along the way. Chancellor Wisniewska said she hopes people from colleges and universities, as well as alumni and area residents, will meet and walk with them as they pass through towns and cities on their route. Their families and friends will join them on the last day of their walk.

A pace car driver, Mike Amato, will ride along side them for the duration, carrying lunch, Gatorade and other essentials. They will walk during the daylight only, approximately 20 miles per day, and have been welcomed to sleep at the homes of colleagues and friends along their journey.

Chancellor Wisniewska has connected with Shippensburg University President William Ruud, Penn State Mont Alto Chancellor David Gnage, former Penn State York Chancellor Don Gogniat and Gettysburg College President Janet Riggs. Several of them have opened their homes or connected them with local friends, while a few plan to put their walking shoes to work as they join the women on their journey.

To keep up with Chancellor Wisniewska’s progress, follow her on twitter (@ChancellorSoph), follow the campus’ Twitter account (@PSUBrandywine) and Facebook page ( or periodically visit The Brandywine Blog at Visit to follow her progress and tweets on Google Maps.

And most importantly, those who spot the two ladies and their pace car along the road should offer them encouragement, walk along side them or even take a photo and send it to Risa Pitman at for the campus to share on social media.

They will walk along Route 30 East through the following towns:
Should this schedule change, the campus will send updates through social media.

May 6: Begin at Seton Hill University, through Pittsburgh
May 7: Ligonier
May 8: Stoystown
May 9: Schellsburg
May 10: Everett
May 11: Harrisonville
May 12: Chancellor Wisniewska will return home via car for Middletown Township Community Day at the Brandywine campus. She will be driven back and will pick up where she left off.
May 13: McConnellsburg
May 14: Chambersburg
May 15: Gettysburg
May 16: Thomasville
May 17: Hallam (PA-462 East)
May 18: Lancaster (PA-462 East)
May 19: Parkesburg (PA-372 East, PA-82 North)
May 20: Downingtown (U.S. 30 BUS, U.S. 309 East)
May 21: Paoli, Valley Forge, and into Philadelphia (PA-352, PA-252, U.S. 30 East)

  • Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska walked through Bedford on May 9 as part of a nearly 300 mile journey across Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.

    IMAGE: Photo: Marie Thibault

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 14, 2012